The BiG team
We are a group of twelve principal investigators with growing student and staff involvement in this Purdue-led research project. We have specialists in aquaculture, sustainability systems, environmental & ecological engineering, education, extension, wastewater treatment, biological engineering, agricultural economics, and food science. With our highly knowledgeable team we will be tackling the issues surrounding midwestern fish production.
Dr. Jen-Yi Huang
Dr. Huang is the principal investigator directing the BiG project. He also leads the research on algal biomass valorization, and nutrients and energy balance modeling and life cycle assessment of the integrated aquaponics system.
Dr. Paul Brown
Dr. Paul Brown, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, will lead the efforts in System Development and participate in stake holder engagement, extension, and education. He and his team will evaluate incorporation of algal and anaerobic subsystems into tilapia/lettuce aquaponic systems.
Dr. Natalie Carroll
Dr. Carroll has two main roles as part of the Extension team on this project: 1) to assist in building an across-the-Midwest working group to engage with stakeholders to identify and prioritize needs and opportunities in the aquaponics industry and 2) to translate research findings into trainings, programming, and outreach materials addressing aquaponics management, financial planning, marketing strategies, and sustainability.
Dr. Betty Feng
Dr. Betty Feng's work will focus on the human factors part of the BIG project. She will partner with our multi-disciplinary team to assess the extension and research needs with our stakeholders.
Dr. Kwamena Quagrainie
Dr. Kwamena Quagrainie’s role will be assisting in conducting needs assessment and identifying barriers and opportunities to grow the aquaponics industry in the Midwest; building enterprise and whole-farm budgets on financial feasibility of various technologies; and conducting consumer preference and willingness-to-pay for blue foods study.
Dr. Andrea Liceaga
Dr. Jiqin Ni
Dr. Ni will be responsible for the research on anaerobic digestion as an integrated part of the sustainable blue food systems of aquaponics.
Dr. George Zhou
In the BiG project, Dr. George Zhou will monitor water quality and develop integrated systems to remove contaminants, recover nutrients, and produce value-added products to improve the sustainability of the integrated aquaponics system.
Dr. Halis Simsek
Dr. Simsek will be growing six different algal strains to test the best performing algal species that utilize foods derived from aquaponic system. Nutrient removal from aquaponic wastewater effluent using continuous and batch algal bioreactors will be tested and the treatment conditions will be optimized.
Nicole has two main roles as part of the Extension team on this project: 1) to assist in building an across-the-Midwest working group to engage with stakeholders to identify and prioritize needs and opportunities in the aquaponics industry and 2) to translate research findings into trainings, programming, and outreach materials addressing aquaponics management, financial planning, marketing strategies, and sustainability.
Dr. Abigail Engelberth
Dr. Engelberth will work closely with Dr. Huang to model the process to determine economic viability. Her efforts will help demonstrate profitability or highlight changes to the process to facilitate financial stability.
Dr. Lindsey Payne
Dr. Lindsey Payne Create experimental aquaponics learning labs and accompanying resources for campus outreach and secondary educators and students. Develop learning outcomes along with appropriate methods for assessing student achievement of those outcomes.